Thursday, March 22, 2018

Francis Chan: bash not the Lord's anointed (leaders)

In an article at the Christian Post, Chan, a Charismatic Emergent who promotes NAR leader Mike Bickle, misuses Scripture to try to silence criticism of church leaders, all the while criticizing his own old church. Interestingly he’s quite strong in his complaints against churches at large today (which he proceeds to touch on and specifically on his old church).
He says: "There are times to speak strongly," Chan said. "But let's remember the story of David with Saul. Where's that spirit in the church today? I just want to be careful with the Lord's anointed. We're surrounded by a culture that tries to reserve the strongest words to bash leadership.” ~Christian Post

David refrained killing King Saul, not from criticizing him:

1Sa 24:10  "Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, 'I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD'S anointed.'
1Sa 24:11  "Now, my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and perceive that there is no evil or rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it.

Besides that, elders aren't anointed--kings were. Elders aren't kings, although many act as if they are. We have no prophets today like in the OT times. Leaders aren’t prophets.

And Chan’s reference to James 1:19 about being slow to speak, quick listen and slow to become angry is a classic misinterpretation/application of that verse to shut down scrutiny. If you notice, James 1:19 is sandwiched in between verses about Scripture. This isn’t about silencing critics nor for that matter, is it about communication skills with people, but it’s about trials, sin, God’s Word confronting it and how we are to submit to what it says.
Jas 1:18  In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
Jas 1:19  This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;
Jas 1:20  for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
Jas 1:21  Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22  But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.

Interestingly a few verses after that, in the next passage, James confronts us about the sin of partiality---probably the biggest unrepentant sin of nearly all of self-proclaimed Evangelical leaders today next to pride:
Jas 2:1  My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.
But going back to James 1:19 I’d like to point out that it is akin to what John says:
1Jn 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
1Jn 1:10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
1Jn 2:4  The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
I supposed it hasn't occurred to Chan that his view has aided in a corrupt leadership within the Evangelical Machine, sometimes leaving concerned sheep with no other outlet. But I believe for the most part, it’s not as perhaps Chan is inferring, as a way to get back at a leader (although that’s true for some and you can see how embittered and personal they are in their attacks), but rather, a way to warn others of an unprincipled, unqualified man.

To be sure slander is obviously sin, but rightly criticizing unbiblical, unprincipled men who are in practice overlords instead of slaves who contain their authority to solely that which Scripture says, isn't unbiblical: it’s warranted. In fact 1John 4:1 demands we vigorously test all teachers and their teachings. The standard that a faithful Christian uses to vigorously test all teachers both in doctrine and in practice, is Scripture. Elder and teachers aren’t untouchable nor are they above criticism. Of all people, they are held to a stricter judgement (James 3:1).We see multiple warnings of names named in Scripture of unbiblical leaders or prominent people the local church (2 Tim. 2:16-18; 2Tim. 4:14-15; 3 John9-11).  

Contrary to biblical leaders, unqualified leaders don’t limit their authority to where and on what Scripture teaches but instead on personal preference, their flesh, traditions, personalities, good ole boy club; and they often do so by redefining of terms, misinterpret and misapply Scripture, and this often stems from the sin of partiality.  There is a reason why God has given a list of specific requirements of church leaders and none of them are suggestions. They define who is and is not qualified and they hold together as a unit. It is to say, the biblical requirements all rise or fall together. This sifts out men who want to be leaders but aren’t qualified (and yes, Chan believes women can teach and lead men, thus proving again that he is unqualified to teach much less lead Christians).

When a teacher teaches at a church or conference, he is open to public scrutiny. Because of their sin of partiality, they don’t heavily scrutinize themselves but rather, as Chan does, circle the wagon and declare “hands off!”. Redefining criticism as “bashing” is Chan’s way of deflecting accountability and therefore blaming people who see their hypocrisy and error. It’s his way of placing guilt upon the sheep instead of where it often is due: the leadership. God dealt with Israel’s leadership first, foremost, and harshly because they were grossly sinning in His name and leading the people into sin (Jer. 23, 32, Lam. 1-4, Is 30 for example). 

Mat 20:25  But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
Mat 20:26  "It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,
Mat 20:27  and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;
Mat 20:28  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Act 17:11  Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
1Pe 5:1  Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,
1Pe 5:2  shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
1Pe 5:3  nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.

1 comment:

lyn said...

Excellent post- this isn't the first time some 'religious leader' has misused God's word to silence any opposition/scrutiny/etc. Attempting to silence those who expose the obvious is a poor excuse/cover up for sinful behavior. God have mercy, organized religion is a joke!!!